As Above So Below | Chicago Reader

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52 minutes · 2013

Drama, Suspense/Thriller
Produced as a student film in 1973, this rudimentary political thriller by Larry Clark (not to be confused with the director of Kids and Bully) follows in the tradition of Peter Watkins's Punishment Park (1971) with its paranoid vision of a Nixonian police state. A former marine who's returned home after doing the nation's dirty work in Cuba, Vietnam, and the Dominican Republic is recruited by a righteous black sister with a gigantic Afro to join a shadowy left-wing terror group. (Shades of Sam Greenlee's cult novel The Spook Who Sat By the Door.) Clark reveals the government conspiracy through the low-budget expedients of voice-over narration and fake news broadcasts; the film is valuable as a document of its time and notable as one of the first sustained narratives to emerge from the so-called "L.A. Rebellion" at UCLA film school, though it's a failure by any other metric.

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